Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: sailordavid On: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:21 pm

Hello All!
Newbie to the board here. I bought a home 4 years ago and it came with a Vermont Castings Vigilant - I believe a model 0036. I have no owners manual, but I did download a general purpose manual from the manufacturer. I would like to burn coal, does anyone know if this is possible? VC did make the stove a "Multi Fuel", but I have been searching for a month to find the parts. The dimensions are - 24" wide, 12" deep and 30" high on the interior. Obviously the doors are smaller and some dis-assembly may be required to get a coal grate / shaker in there. I am currently burning wood, and if I can't burn coal I will either stay with wood, go to pellets or bio-bricks. But I would prefer coal!

I would appreciate any info!

Thanks,
David
sailordavid
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings Vigilant
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 0036 Multi Fuel

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:09 pm

Hi David

You're correct that they did make the old Vigilant multi-fuel. The conversion,once installed, allowed one to burn only coal. It had to be removed to again burn wood. I've never operated one but did have a few friends that did. I might add, without too much success. The conversion was accomplished by adding a hopper assembly into the wood burner. From what I recall, the hopper assy. was difficult to keep sealed to assure that the coal fire drafted up thru the coal and out the flue. It seemed that after "x" number of heat cycles, leaks would develop and circumvent the draft from the coal bed. The result was poor heating and fires that would die out. I was told that's why the redesigned the unit to full coal in the 2310 model I've operated for six years. I found this link, might help.
http://www.stovepartsplus.com/Merchant5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SPP&Category_Code=VC-VIGILANT

Dave
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: sailordavid On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:34 am

Thanks for the reply. I called VC and they said a dealer could order a coal conversion kit, but I went to the dealer and they said they could not. They would have to order it part number by part number and it would cost $$$, as well not all the parts are available. I might as well buy a new stove! I'm just starting to really like my stove!
The reason I never burned right when we moved in was my son had a grave case of asthma, and I did not dare get smoke in the house, it was too big of a risk. He passed on 2 /2 years ago, so now I'm learning to play with the stove. I am getting the impression it would be a mistake to convert this stove; I should either buy a coal stove or stick to wood. Either way I would like to hear from others. Thanks!
David
sailordavid
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings Vigilant
Stove/Furnace Model: Model 0036 Multi Fuel

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Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: tvb On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:25 pm

I've been burning coal in an older VC Vigilant coal/wood. It was in the house I purchased last May. I have not used it as a wood stove. It does not have a hopper attachment.

It took some negotiating with the stove to get it to cooperate at first but it's not the worst stove in the world. I'm able to keep burns going for a few weeks as long as I empty the ash pan morning and night and carefully shake the fire down after poking into it with the supplied knife a couple times a day. Once I figured out how to work the thing, the only time the fire has gone out has been when I allowed it to do so either because I was going to be gone a few days or I wanted to clean it out/replace gaskets.

During the day, I use nut coal and in the evening I load it up with pea coal before retiring. It's easy to load through the top griddle. If I'm running it with the rear thermostat door wide open, it easily gets to 700 degrees and does a great job heating the first floor of my house ~ 1000 sq. ft. if you like it at about 82 degrees. One thing I did that improved it dramatically was to fashion an air inlet from a close-by window directed into the air inlet.

If you spend some time googling, there are some places that claim to stock older VC Vigilant parts. The air inlet/thermostat thingie broke on mine so I've been using small pieces of unburnable "stuff" to adjust the amount of air allowed in and I've been meaning to order a new one.

Through all that, I still plan on buying a LL Pioneer come the off-season and retiring this Vigilant on Ebay.
tvb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: philharter On: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:33 pm

I have a 1977 Vermont Castings Vigiliant that I purchased in 1977 from the factory when it was in Vermont. It came with the coal insert hopper and all attachments. I have all of the coal insert parts including the shaker handle, linkage, shaker pan etc..

I am still using the stove as a wood stove but would be willing to part with the coal insert. I live in the hudson valley of NYS and this insert is very heavy.... would cost a lot to ship... I may still have all of the installation information also.... Let me know if you are interested. 845-255-2603 (Philharter@aol.com)

Phil Harter
philharter
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigiliant

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: philharter On: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:55 pm

Well, this was worthwhile...... I received a response to my note about having parts for the Vigilant VC wood stove and last Saturday someone came to the house and purchased the insert and all attachments! (And I'm a few bucks richer!)

Thanks, Phil
philharter
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigiliant

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: phillyriverrat57 On: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:04 pm

I am a owner of a early vermont castings vigilant stove. They are actually very easy to change over from wood to the coal assembly, the big trick is to caulk the sseams of the coal unit with boiler cement so it becomes air tight, if not you won't be able to hold a fire. my stove has a really bizar story to it, i was married and installed it back in 1982, after being maried for 8 years, i was devorced and the stove went with the house. the stove and the house passed through several owners, and last year a feamle friend of mine bought the house, she remembered that i put the sttove in and got in touch with me. she wasn't trilled with dealing with a wood/ coal stove, so she gave the stove back to me. i currently heat my house with a antique wehrle #23 tropic parlor stove. but nothing has ever compared to my VC stove. i actually have to locate some parts such as the primary air tube for burning wood, but the coal unit was fully intact except for the hopper which i want to locate another. if you have any questions about this stove or it's operation, i have 7 years experience with one, and i am looking forward to having many more with it again
phillyriverrat57
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont castings
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilent 1A

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: stonyloam On: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:19 pm

That is a fine little coal stove if you can find the coal insert for it. It has a kind of bad reputation, because unless they are sealed really well they don't burn as well as they should. Once they are sealed with cement and the door gaskets installed they burn great. Look up some of the posts by "rewinder" he has it down pretty well. Good luck.
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: dlj On: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:08 pm

I would like to clarify one part of this post. I've read it often applied to the older multi-fuel vermont Castings. I own the Resolute, not the Vigilant but that would not matter. With the coal setup in place you can still burn wood. I will often burn wood in my stove at the beginning of the season when I don't want a full time fire. I even have the optional screen that is used to run the stove with the front doors open as if it were a fireplace. That also works fine with the coal grates in place. Certainly if you are burning wood as the primary fuel, removing the coal setup would allow the stove to perform better, but it burns wood quite well with the coal setup in place.

Also, I have never had a problem keeping a fire going and getting quite fine heat out of my Resolute (as long as I didn't forget to put coal in it, but that's the same for any stove). I've had continuous coal fire for the entire winter, no problem. But as they say, I guess your mileage may vary...

dj


VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Hi David

You're correct that they did make the old Vigilant multi-fuel. The conversion,once installed, allowed one to burn only coal. It had to be removed to again burn wood. I've never operated one but did have a few friends that did. I might add, without too much success. The conversion was accomplished by adding a hopper assembly into the wood burner. From what I recall, the hopper assy. was difficult to keep sealed to assure that the coal fire drafted up thru the coal and out the flue. It seemed that after "x" number of heat cycles, leaks would develop and circumvent the draft from the coal bed. The result was poor heating and fires that would die out. I was told that's why the redesigned the unit to full coal in the 2310 model I've operated for six years. I found this link, might help.
http://www.stovepartsplus.com/Merchant5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SPP&Category_Code=VC-VIGILANT

Dave
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: rewinder On: Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:32 pm

Just clicked on this forum after a summer recess. Temps are dropping a bit now and been thinking about coal again

Yep you are right, the VC w/coal kit does a nice job, I run a resolute and vigilant. After making the front grate/door rope gasket mod, it's like a whole new stove in it's responsiveness.

paul
rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: TheBucks On: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:36 am

Hi, proud new owner of a Vigilant 1(short doors) here. I've been searching the net for parts & info on my new purchase. It is set up for wood & I have a few questions for someone a little more knowledgeable. Mine has a rack inside for the wood to sit on, something you would have in a fireplace, Is this needed or should the fire be made on the floor of the stove? I haven't noticed this in others. The other question is about a missing part. It appears there should be a cover held on by a screw where the opening for the primary air tube is. According to an exploded view I found it is called a secondary air cover. Is this a part that should be in place for the stove to operate, operate correctly, only needed for wood, coal etc ...? Is this something I can make from a piece of steel & bolt in place or do I need the original part for some reason ? Thanks for your time, Steve.
TheBucks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant 1

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:06 am

Hello TheBucks and welcome to the forum!

TheBucks wrote:Hi, proud new owner of a Vigilant 1(short doors) here. I've been searching the net for parts & info on my new purchase. It is set up for wood & I have a few questions for someone a little more knowledgeable. Mine has a rack inside for the wood to sit on, something you would have in a fireplace, Is this needed or should the fire be made on the floor of the stove? I haven't noticed this in others.


I'm not too familiar with the Vigilant I but there are others on this forum that will be able to answer. If you could post some pictures of the inside of the stove showing the "rack inside for the wood to sit on" it would be helpful. There are grates in the bottom of my stove that move back and forth that are essential for coal burning. You can see them in the Small Fire in Vigilant II video I've got linked at the bottom of my signature block. Could the grates be what you are referring to? Do the ribs of the rack move independently? It's possible that with a used stove the PO placed a small fire place grate inside but the stove as designed by VC does not need it. Pictures will tell us :)


TheBucks wrote:The other question is about a missing part. It appears there should be a cover held on by a screw where the opening for the primary air tube is. According to an exploded view I found it is called a secondary air cover. Is this a part that should be in place for the stove to operate, operate correctly, only needed for wood, coal etc ...? Is this something I can make from a piece of steel & bolt in place or do I need the original part for some reason ? Thanks for your time, Steve.


Try this link http://nepacrossroads.com/about12333-15.html#p134663 It will take you to another thread that I've posted pictures on. The first picture is of the open secondary air inlet that allows fresh O2 to mix with the smoke of a wood fire when burning wood in airtight mode. It's shown in the open position. One would slide the "frying pan" cover over the hole to regulate the amount of air when burning wood or close it completely for coal fires. All you really need to control this port is what you described as long as you don't mind the appearance. There's a small spring behind the attaching bolt's head to keep inward tension on the cover plate. Also, the side of the thermostatically controlled primary air flap can be seen just below the heat shield stand-off stud. It's open at about he same angle as the frying pan cover is at in this picture.

Send us some pictures!. "We love pictures!"
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: TheBucks On: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:38 am

First off I just wanted to mention I do realize this is a forum for coal burning stoves & I'm planning on burning wood but this was the best place I found to ask my questions & all info you can provide is greatly appreciated.
These are before & after photos of the stove
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This is the stove when purchased.
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This is the same stove after a little elbow grease
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The rack that was inside the stove when purchased. I suspect this was not original. Is there any advantages to using or not using this thing ?
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This is the rack inside I was referring to
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This is my secondary air inlet hole with a couple of missing pieces.
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My secondary inlet hole
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I guess I'll be searching the internet to see if I can locate them. Any suggestions on where to look ? I'd also like to find another warming shelf & mitten rods. If I can't locate the air inlet cover, I'm sure I can make something that would work fine & look OK but since the stove turned out looking so nice I'd like to keep it that way.
TheBucks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant 1

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:57 am

You have the first incarnation of the Vigilant Wood burner.
There was a conversion kit to convert it to coal.
The rack is not original, toss it.
There should be cast ribs on the bottom inside, fill that to the top with clean masonry sand about an inch deep.
Nice stove, I heated with that model before my Mark II and the joy of Coal.
There are andirons that go in front to keep the wood from rolling out.
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CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Retro fitting a Vermont Castings Vigilant

PostBy: stonyloam On: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:32 am

TheBucks wrote:First off I just wanted to mention I do realize this is a forum for coal burning stoves & I'm planning on burning wood....

I guess I'll be searching the internet to see if I can locate them. Any suggestions on where to look ? I'd also like to find another warming shelf & mitten rods. If I can't locate the air inlet cover, I'm sure I can make something that would work fine & look OK but since the stove turned out looking so nice I'd like to keep it that way.


That's OK, everyone around here is pretty friendly, and I suspect that we all have at one time burnt "new wood" (as opposed to 300 million year old wood) at one time or another :) . Nice looking stove. You should be able to get all of the parts you need (rack, mitten warmer etc.) for wood burning from you local dealer (probably not cheap) go to http://www.vermontcastings.com/ and do a search for local dealers. Looks like a standard vigilant. Mine has a date cast into the fireback (1977), I'm not sure if it is the date of manufacture or the design date, but it might be useful to help ID it for sure. As for burning coal you need the complete coal conversion kit (with hopper), and a hole in the front lower left for the shaker rod. Some parts are available from the dealers, but the complete kit is not. You might be able to find one on the internet, just make sure all of the parts are there. Good luck
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

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